I really wish I was taller

Alex Gomes
I really wish I was taller
It was July 5th, 2001 the day I would always remember as the worst birthday I ever had. It was my seventh birthday and I my face was beaming with excitement. I had been jumping around all day in anticipation of the great day ahead. I had wanted to go to Soak City for a long time, but could never convince my parents to take me. I really loved water slides and swimming at the time, so I figured that this would be one of the best ways to celebrate my birthday. I brought along Scott, my best friend. I was and still am on the shorter side of the spectrum, but Scott was quite tall. Before anything could happen my family and I went to go pick up Scott. When we arrived at his house I could tell that he was just as excited as I was. We spent the drive over to Soak City discussing what rides we were going to go on and how many times we were going to go on every ride. There wasn’t a happier pair of people in the world at that moment. Upon arrival at the park we promptly bought tickets and headed into the park. It was decided beforehand that we would go on the water slides first and leave the rest of the attractions for later in the day. The line for the water slides was long, but I did not care even a bit. I was practically shaking in anticipation as I headed up the stairs to the slides. Before I could get there, I was stopped by a lifeguard, who told me “We are going to have to measure you before you are allowed to go on the ride.” Upon hearing those words I knew I was doomed and as fate would have it, I was too short. The lifeguard informed me that I would have to wear a life jacket in order to ride on the slides. My face fell and I ran back down the stairs crying. When I finally calmed down my parents explained to me that I could still ride all the rides, albeit only while wearing a life jacket, which at that time was completely unacceptable to me. I fancied myself a strong swimmer at the time and was really embarrassed to have to wear a life jacket. Scott, in an effort to be a good friend, even offered to wear a life jacket himself to make me feel better. I spent the rest of the day on one chair feeling miserable thinking “I really wish I was taller.” Scott and my family, however, proceeded to have a good time without me. They rode all the slides they wanted and were able to ride them without wearing a life jacket. My dad became mad at me for yelling at my sister and tried to talk to me about it. His words had no effect on me at the time, my face was twisted with anger and I spat out at him that I didn’t care what he had to say. Throughout the day my family would come back to talk to me to tell me about how much fun they were having and to try and convince me to put on a life jacket and come have fun with them. However helpful they thought they were being, they were wrong and only made me feel a lot worse. I think it made me feel worse because they were correct, but by then I just wanted to make a point. The day concluded without me having a single bit of fun and getting nothing from the gift shop because I acted mean and nasty to my sister in my attempt to make myself feel better. I was scolded and eventually forced to apologize to my friend for my behavior. Looking back on this day though I realize I should have sucked it up and wore a life jacket.


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